Sony HT-ST3

Sony HT-ST3 soundbar

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take a look at some of our other soundbars as an alternative?"

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Details

The soundbar market is pretty saturated now, with most manufacturers having at least two if not more soundbars to their names. From the cheap as chips LG's to the stunning Bowers & Wilkins Panorama 2 soundbar, all share the same basic concept - improve your TV's sound quality whilst keeping things in a single box (with a subwoofer added on occasion).

The Sony HT-ST3 fits right in the middle of this huge range of choices, and we suspect having figured out quite early on that the Sony was never going to win awards for sound quality, they have instead gone for their strengths of ease of use and innovative design. The result is a pleasingly slim soundbar that barely exceeds 4cm even at its widest point.

Of course, small means no bass so this unit does need a subwoofer to give you a decent sound range, and there is of course one provided. In fact, the subwoofer houses the important electronics as well, another reason they have managed to get that soundbar so small. This means then, unlike most other soundbars, that you'll need to run any HDMI or optical cables to the subwoofer rather than the soundbar. This is a little less convenient that we'd like as the soundbar is literally right by the TV, but its a necessary trade off for that ultra slim bar.

A single cable runs from the subwoofer to the soundbar and that carries all the sound. Once set up the sound is unsurprising. Slightly thin and also not as competent as the more reknowned audio manufacturers, its still pleasing and thanks to that subwoofer carries sufficient weight and conviction. There is a slight tendency for lower midrange to get lost as the integration between soundbar and subwoofer isn't quite spot on, but overall the effect is good.

Effectively this soundbar holds no surprises - there is a trade off for that ultra slim bar and although it isn't a massive trade off, you should at least consider similarly priced soundbars that have more 'chunk' to them - specifically the Yamaha YSP range which is direct competition. However, if the size really appeals you equally won't be disappointed with this soundbar.

A slight case of style against substance but the balance is so close that the call is yours - and we know you'll be happy with the result either way.

Tech Spec

General

Model HT-ST3

Sound

Maximum surround 4.1

Inputs and Outputs

HDMI connections 3 in, 1 out
Supports ARC (audio return channel) Yes
Optical connections 2 in
Bluetooth Yes

Networking

Screen Mirroring No

Speakers

Curved screen or soundbar No
Speaker Configuration Soundbar

Measurements

Dimensions (W x H x D) 900 x 42 x 30 mm
Net weight 0.9 kg
Subwoofer dimensions (W x H x D) 30 x 135 x 375 mm
Subwoofer net weight 8.3 kg